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Sex allegations rise against Tavis Smiley, Russell Simmons

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Tavis Smiley is the latest TV personality being accused of sexual misconduct. (Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Every day, it gets more difficult to keep track of the growing accusations of sexual misconduct against men in media and politics.

On Wednesday, PBS said it was stopping distributing the “Tavis Smiley” show pending an investigation into “troubling, multiple, credible” allegations of sexual misconduct against the late-night talk show host.

Add him to the list of prominent public-broadcast faces accused of sexual impropriety: Garrison Keillor of “A Prairie Home Companion” was dismissed from Minnesota Public Radio; Charlie Rose was fired by PBS, CBS News and Bloomberg TV after eight women reported he sexually harassed them.

In the political area, alleged sexual misconduct has put an end to the terms of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.).

On Tuesday, Senate candidate Roy Moore, accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old when he was in his 30s, was defeated by Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama — thank goodness.

SALMA SPEAKS OUT

Salma Hayek told Harvey Weinstein “no” many times as he badgered her for sex in hotel rooms — and even once threatened to kill her.

The actress revealed in an op-ed for the New York Times the harassment she endured for years at the hands of Weinstein while trying to make the movie “Frida” under Miramax.

Hayek, now 51, mentioned the different things she said “no” to when asked by the disgraced film executive: “No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex.”

Hayek joins more than 80 women who have accused Weinstein of harassment or sexual misconduct. Rose McGowan and Asia Argento both have accused Weinstein of rape.

NOW, RUSSELL SIMMONS

Music mogul Russell Simmons has been accused of rape by several women.

The New York Times and Los Angeles Times described complaints lodged by different women, which Simmons has contested, calling them either “untrue” or describing the situations as consensual.

An article published in the New York Times points to incidences in the 1980s and 1990s: Drew Dixon claimed Simmons raped her in his New York apartment in 1995; Tina Baker accused the Def Jam co-founder of raping her when he was her manager in the early 1990s and music journalist Toni Salle said he raped her in his apartment in 1988.

The Los Angeles Times reported model Keri Claussen Khalighi’s allegations in November; on Wednesday, it added reports from actress Natashia Williams-Blach, massage therapist Erin Beattie and Karen Russell, manager of his West Hollywood yoga studio Tantris.

QUICK TAKE

New members of the Rock & Roll Hall of fame are Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Nina Simone, who will be inducted in a ceremony in Cleveland in April; the Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be honored posthumously with an “award for early influence.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Actress Vanessa Hudgens is 29. … Singer Beth Orton is 47. … Talent agent Michael Ovitz is 71.

— Staff, wire report

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